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Susie Cagle's Posts


More boomers looking to retire to cities

Baby boomers are increasingly headed to the city instead of the retirement home, according to a new report by the Urban Land Institute.

Little boxes on the hillside are less green and pink, now mostly gray.

Still, more than half of those 65 and over live in the ‘burbs, and the sprawl is growing grayer as many older Americans are choosing not to leave and the youth are mostly choosing not to come. But:

Many who are able to move are choosing urban locations -- both cities and suburban "town centers" -- where they can be close to grown children, friends, work, public transportation, and health care. "Leading-edge boomers will not settle gracefully into quiet retirement and move into traditional seniors housing communities for years, if they ever do," [says report author and ULI fellow John K. McIlwain].

Instead, more of them are choosing college towns (to "enjoy on-campus activities") and cohousing.

Read more: Cities, Living


Peanut recall expands, horrifies lovers of organic peanutty snacks

What do ice cream, salads, and cookies all have in common? Peanuts! And, um, salmonella.

Not the O's! Yes, the O's.

Nearly three weeks after it first began, the nationwide recall on all manner of peanutty products has expanded dramatically -- and it's hitting the organic sector particularly hard. The recall now includes raw and processed nut goods produced over the last year by New Mexico company Sunland Inc., a big producer of conventional peanuts and the nation's largest exporter of organic peanut stuffs. The Food and Drug Administration has filled its Flickr stream with helpful photos of hundreds of recalled, delicious-looking treats.

Read more: Food, Living


Fracking banned in Connecticut — the word, not the deed

They're not the first to call fracking dirty, but they may be the most vulgar by our count.

Busted Tees

A producer at the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, which owns The Stamford Advocate, delivered the bad news that the company has been "forced to block" the word from comments to deter wily readers who might "exploit" it as a euphemism for "its more vulgar cousin."

(Those nasty readers might be vintage Battlestar Galactica enthusiasts, as the show switched to the clearly more modern "frak" for the new series. No word on whether fans of the Hungarian animated series Frakk, a macskák réme may still express their less-than-vulgar feelings for that loveable orange dog who stumbled his way into all of our hearts in the late '70s.)

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living


Supreme Court decision could lead to ‘water anarchy’ in the West

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to take on a case that could upend decades of delicately balanced water agreements between states -- a case that's all the more pressing in a year when two-thirds of the continental U.S. has been hit by drought.

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Drought in Texas' Red River.

Oklahoma and Texas water authorities are anxiously awaiting word on whether the court will hear a challenge to a federal appeals court decision that threw a key water compact into jeopardy. In Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Texas' claims that Oklahoma was keeping more water than allowed under the 1978 Red River Compact. If the appeals court decision stands, that could throw interstate water agreements across the country into question.

James Oliver, the general manager of Texas' Tarrant Regional Water District and a party in the lawsuit, writes in Politico of coming "water anarchy" should the decision stand:

at risk is the viability of Native American nations, as well as Western farmers and ranchers whose livelihoods and very existence depend on water from interstate compacts. These include the farmers of Southern California’s Imperial and Coachella Valley, prime sources of winter fruits and vegetables for American consumers. Add to the casualties the shale oil, coal and petroleum producers Americans are counting on to end our dependence on imported energy.

OH, well in that case!


More Americans are biking to work — but not enough of them are women

More than three-quarters of a million Americans are regularly biking to work, according to new Census data. This map shows cycle commuting hotspots.

Davis, Calif., tops the charts with 16.6 percent of the city's workforce peddling to punch the clock. West Coast cities, especially dense college towns with little public transit in California, Colorado, and Oregon, round out the top. But large metro areas, from Seattle to New York City, saw the biggest increases in cyclers since 2006. (Meanwhile, the East Coast and South are totally kicking ass on walking to work.)

Overall, there's been a 47 percent increase in bike commuting since 2000.

From the Governing blog, which compiled and visualized the data:

Read more: Cities, Living


Court kicks anti-phone-book laws to the curb where you’re totally going to stub your toe on them

They pile up outside your building. They fill up city recycling centers. They melt in the rain, or they fester inside that weird thin plastic bag. They're phone books, and you don't want 'em? Well too bad.


In a unanimous decision Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a 2010 Seattle law that would charge phone book companies fees to deliver within city limits, plus extra charges for books that went in the trash. The court ruled that phone books, like other printed media, are protected by the First Amendment.

From The Seattle Times:

Read more: Cities, Living, Politics


Keystone blockaders get their hands dirty in biggest protest yet

Blockaders intent on shutting down construction of the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline ramped up their efforts Monday with their biggest protest yet.

Tar Sands Blockade

The fight has been heating up for weeks (like, literally, with sheriffs using pepper spray and Tasers on some protesters). On Monday, more than 50 activists convened on TransCanada's right-of-way and commenced a cat-and-mouse game with sheriffs. According to blockaders, 10 people were arrested. The video they produced on the day's actions is intense even if you mute the clangy anarcho drum-circle soundtrack.